Morgan Stanley Smith Barney

www.morganstanleysmithbarney.com
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Okay experience. Everyone works hard to make it through the day.

  • Work/Life Balance
  • Culture & Values
  • Career Opportunities
  • Comp & Benefits
  • Senior Management
Current Intern - Intern in San Francisco, CA
Current Intern - Intern in San Francisco, CA

I have been working at Morgan Stanley Smith Barney as an intern (Less than a year)

Recommends
Neutral Outlook
No opinion of CEO
Recommends
Neutral Outlook
No opinion of CEO

Pros

-great experience -learn a lot about finance -actually got to sit down and talk with a client

Cons

-poor career development -seemed like they don't care about your ideas

Advice to Management

need a better internship program

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  1. Helpful (3)

    The Training Program is a Con

    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Financial Advisor Associate in Dallas, TX
    Current Employee - Financial Advisor Associate in Dallas, TX

    I have been working at Morgan Stanley Smith Barney full-time (Less than a year)

    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO
    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO

    Pros

    MSSB has one of the best brands in the retail brokerage business

    Cons

    Look, becoming a financial advisor a la Morgan Stanley, Merrill, et al is at best a daunting task. However, ask yourself, how do these firms profit from month after month bringing in FA trainees knowing full good and well that only about 1 in 10 make it five years and only about 2 in 10 even make it to 18 months? The answer: Trainees don't cost much. Getting new clients, even for established FA's is getting harder and harder. The "financial advisor" profession is way past saturated. Secondly, the biggest trend in the profession is for FA's at the brokerage firms to either go purely independent as fee-based RIA's, or at least go to a much lower cost/higher payout platforms such as LPL. Sooooo, what about our trainees? Well, even the worst trainees are going to bring in one or two or so good accounts before they self-select out due to not making much money or the firm fires them for not hitting sales goals. And, who gets those good accounts when our trainee leaves MSSB? You got it, the established brokers get them, NOT struggling new FA's. Put another way, the training programs are nothing more than client acquisition programs for the established FAs. Giving these guys the accounts is one of the ways the traditional brokerage firms try to keep them from bolting to greener pastures. In the meantime, our trainees are back on the street trying to find real jobs. The only trainees who ever make it are those who have either family members or a big rolodex of close acquaintances who will give them substantial money very soon. If you are not in that category, remember: You are expected to bring in a few good accounts reasonably soon and then leave the firm. In short, the best outcome for the brokerage firms is for trainees to become big producers. But, that's not the plan. If it were, do you think the failure rate would be anything approaching 90%? Really? No, the second best, and by far the most likely outcome, is for you to bring in a few good accounts and then leave the firm as soon as possible. It's a very cynical model and is just one example of why the traditional retail brokerage firms are continuing to lose market share to just about everybody else. Even retail prospects/clients are beginning to ask questions like "Why am I paying so much in fees and commissions?" "What the heck is my performance and how does it compare to an appropriate benchmark?" Those are not questions the Morgan Stanleys of the world want to hear. But, for job seekers, just understand, it's a rigged game. Morgan Stanley, Merrill, UBS, et al have a perverse, short-term model that is designed for you to fail. Although they are encouraging FAs to go to fee-based models, it's simply in their DNA to view all prospects/clients as nothing more than a source of revenues. In fact, all you really have to know is that the only thing... the only thing.... that they grade all FA's on is how much money they make off of every client. so long as they don't break any regulations.

    Advice to Management

    Wake up. If you like watching your margins continue to compress and your market share decline, then keep this bizarre model going. If you're at all serious about operating in something resembling an ethical fashion, hire sales people to bring in clients and portfolio managers to manage the money. Stop pimping trainees to serve as your client acquisition department.


  2. Great company

    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Financial Advisor in Lafayette, LA
    Current Employee - Financial Advisor in Lafayette, LA

    I have been working at Morgan Stanley Smith Barney full-time (More than 5 years)

    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    Pros

    good work environment, good investment strategies and research

    Cons

    A stressful, high pressure position


There are newer employer reviews for Morgan Stanley Smith Barney
There are newer employer reviews for Morgan Stanley Smith Barney

See Most Recent

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